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Jul 18 / Lea Madjoff

Six Mindfulness Habits


This article was provided by Ulliance.

“I just can’t do it.”  The excuses for not engaging in mindfulness are endless — you either don’t know how or worse, you don’t have time. You may think that being mindful on a daily basis is something that’s more of a pipe dream than a reality, but don’t count yourself out so quickly. Mindfulness is simply about being fully present in the moment, whether it’s through meditating or just in conversation. The truth is, some of your everyday habits are mindful at their core — you just didn’t know it. Below are six mindfulness habits you’re probably practicing already.

Paying attention when your child is telling you about her day.  When your little one excitedly scurries into the car and tells you about what games she played on the playground — and you actively respond — you’re practicing mindfulness.  Your awareness (or lack thereof) can have a significant effect on your children.  People often say they have trouble focusing their minds. It’s difficult to be in the moment — especially when we’re parenting and the demands of life also need our attention.  If, as adults, we are having a difficult time managing the distractions that interfere with our ability to focus, it’s not surprising that our children are struggling, too.  Next time your son or daughter animatedly tells you a story, be grateful for the mindfulness you’re already practicing. It makes for amazing memories later on.

Soaking up the sunset on your walk home.  It’s hard not to stare at the sky as the sun casts its final golden glow for the day — and when you stop to appreciate its final moments, you’re actively engaging in a mindful activity.  Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.  And nothing fits that bill better than taking in the beauty of a sunset.

Savoring every bite of that cake.  There’s nothing quite like the sweet taste of your favorite dessert — and if you’re slowly enjoying every last morsel of a rare treat, you’re mastering the art of mindful eating. And that’s not the only benefit of practicing the habit: Being present with your meals and eating slower has been linked to significant weight loss.

Throwing yourself into your weekly softball game.  It’s no secret that many of the world’s best athletes are using mindfulness to help their performance — and it’s paying off. In fact, the actual art of playing the game is mindful in itself.  If you can think about just what’s happening at that moment — saying a little mantra, ‘Just this play, just this kick, just this pass,’ — just keeping your mind on what you need to do that moment, that’s a really good way to practice that mindfulness in the game itself.

Cooking dinner (for yourself or for others).  Cooking is meditation in action. When you’re making a meal, you have the opportunity to be present and aware (because no one actually wants to be distracted while using a sharp knife!). If you’re focused on the task (and the boiling water) in front of you, you’re already more mindful than you think.

Enjoying a nice, long shower at the end of the day.  Chances are you’re grateful for the few moments you get to relax under that steaming water, as you wash away the stress of the day. Those little periods of bliss have mindfulness written all over them — and it’s in a task you’re already doing on a daily basis. A warm shower is the perfect place for a little awareness (plus once you’re done enjoying the moment, it’s also a place where you can do your best thinking).

Jul 9 / Lea Madjoff

Reduce high blood pressure through exercise

In the United States (U.S.), 1 in every 3 adults has high blood pressure according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention . It has been suggested by recent reports that blood pressure can be reduced and managed by isometric exercise where a joint angle and muscle length do not change during muscular contraction.

One report in particular published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (201;89 [3], 327-34) reviewed various trails focusing on adults aged 18 and over who completed isometric exercise protocols for at least 4 weeks. The goal of the authors was to measure, “the effects of isometric resistance training on the change in systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and mean arterial pressure in subclinical populations and to examine whether the magnitude of change in SBP and DBP was different with respect to blood pressure classification”.

After analyzing all the data, the authors of the report found that there were improvements in all blood pressure measures. In addition, they found a minor reduction in the participants resting heart rate. The authors were able to conclude that isometric exercise has the potential to reduce blood pressure.

Jul 1 / Lea Madjoff

Recommended snacks for before and after your workout

By fueling your body with the proper nutrition before and after your workout you can maximize your energy availability and results. Below you will found time-inspired pre- and post-workout snack recommendations made by registered dietitians and sport nutrition experts.

Early Bird Workout

Pre-Workout: 1 medium banana and 4-ounce non-fat plain yogurt

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD, CSSD recommended eating this snack 30 to 60 minutes before your workout routine. Benefits according to research:

  • Helps increase glucose availability near the end of the workout
  • Decreases exercise-induced muscle protein break down

Worried about this meal upsetting your stomach? For alternatives, Muth suggest choosing food items that are low in fat and fiber, which can minimize the stress on your GI during exercise.

Post-Workout: Graham crackers, peanut butter and low fat chocolate milk

Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD recommended eating this snack after a morning workout. Clark makes the following claims:

  • This combination of carbs is the perfect recipe needed to refuel your muscles
  • The protein intake will help repair and rebuild muscles

A heartier alternative: A peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole grain bread with a glass of low-fat milk. The milk is a great source of protein and calcium for healthy bones and muscles.


Afternoon Workout

Pre-Workout: An apple with a hard-boiled egg

To ensure that you stay fueled during a busy day, Lyssie Lakatos, RD and Tammy Lakatos hames, RD suggest having foods that can be readily available. Eating an apple can have the following benefits for your body:

  • Good source for carbohydrates stores that will later be used for energy
  • Will give you a boost of energy before a workout
  • Settles well in your stomach

A hard-boiled egg is a great food item that can last a little longer as a source of fuel for the body’s energy demands.

Post-Workout: Yogurt, an orange, and a red bell pepper

Lyssie Lakatos, RD and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD suggested this combo because they are all foods that can be conveniently grabbed and eaten on the go.

These items have the following health benefits for after a workout:

  • All are high in water, making them hydrating and  refreshing
  • The red bell pepper contains both water and antioxidants that can help repair damage to the muscles and tissues caused from the exercise session
  • The yogurt contains energy-reviving carbohydrates and muscle-building protein; bone-building calcium; and potassium to prevent muscle cramps.
  • The orange also contain potassium and vitamin C, both which can prevent some of the oxidative damage to the muscles and tissues caused from the free radicals developed during exercise


Late-night Workout

Pre-Workout: Banana with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Kristin Carlucci, RD suggested this snack for in between work and the gym to avoid the hunger before your workout. The protein and healthy fats in the peanut butter will fuel your body through the workout while the carbohydrates in the banana will keep your energy high.

Post-Workout: Mini-meal smoothie (plain nonfat yogurt + mango + pineapple + cinnamon

+ a touch of toasted wheat germ

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD recommended this snack because it contains the important elements of refueling your body after a workout. The three elements are as followed:

  1. Fluids in the fruits rich in water
  2. Carbohydrates found in the fruit and yogurt
  3. Protein in the yogurt and wheat germ

The fluid in the fruit replenishes the body’s water loss caused by perspiration during a workout. While the carbohydrates replenish the glycogen used during the exercise, which is a benefit to our muscles. In order to replenish the glycogen stores your snack should contain three to four times as many calories from carbohydrates than from protein. However, the amount of protein in this snack can help with making you feel full and could enhance muscle recovery.

Reference: Matthews, J., MS, E-RYT (2012) What should I eat before and after my morning,

afternoon or evening workout?. Ask the Expert blog. Available at Accessed on August 22, 2012.

Jun 25 / Lea Madjoff

Destress – go out for an adventure!

Article provided by Ulliance


You may have recently got daring in a way that you hadn’t been in years.  Maybe it was during a trip for some R & R. As the days passed and you unwound, amazing things happened: you surfed for the first time. You went to a raucous midnight street fair and swam in a cenote (basically a sinkhole). You felt bold, gutsy, alive!  Then you came home and returned to your previously scheduled non-adventurous existence: your daily hour on the elliptical, the oatmeal you eat every morning. Granted, it’s a very satisfying recipe (oats, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, berry compote, brown sugar). Still, you could at least have granola.

When we were younger, excitement seemed to arrive at the door.  But once life’s responsibilities started piling up, we downgraded to weekend warrior.  That pulse-pounding jaunt illuminated just how oddly lopsided life has become. Why cram all the excitement into a trip? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial — not to mention more fun — to zhush up our daily life? Yes, it would!  Research shows that the ability to just view life as a hope-filled, exhilarating adventure represents a tremendous happiness and health advantage.

Why we like to be boring
Now that we’ve hit our mid-40s — with a mortgage, a husband and a preschooler – we’re usually concentrating on getting through the day intact. For some of us, family obligations dampen the rock-climbing spirit that ruled our single years; it’s safer to watch “The Amazing Race” than to test our own limits. And there’s security in routine: When life throws you one crisis after another, at least you can count on your oatmeal.

This craving for order keeps us from striking out on adventures.  One accomplishment of getting older is gaining decision-making power.  We prefer to predict and control — exactly what table we want at the restaurant, the row we want at the movies.  Fear of failure can also make us prisoners of predictability. Children may be game to try anything and fall flat on their butts, but grown-ups get wary.  Many adults believe their physical and mental capabilities are fixed and can’t be improved.  As a result, our goals tend to be about proving ourselves within familiar territory.  Yet research has found that achievements of all kinds are completely within reach if we don’t focus on acing them — but rather relish the process of getting better.

The benefits of breaking out
A major factor in how much we enjoy life is whether we’re learning new things, per a global survey by the Gallup Organization. In fact, the brain’s regions for pleasure light up when presented with novelty. There are health perks, too: Studies have connected curiosity and being open to new experiences with a sharper mind. The more you challenge your brain, the more nerve pathways form — potentially slowing age-related cognitive decline and staving off Alzheimer’s. In one study, students who learned a new language grew more complex white matter, aka the communications network. Another study drew a link between curiosity and longer life expectancy.

Happily, there’s no need to do a Tough Mudder to reap these benefits: you can gain just as much from little thrills as large ones. Think playing tourist in your own town, say yes to the next invite you’d reflexively refuse, try going to parties and movies alone — We limit our experiences when we say we can’t go somewhere by ourselves.

Outdoor activities provide a special buzz, research shows. For one, natural settings boost mood and energy better than the indoors. Thank the rush of fresh oxygen that physically recharges you, and the mentally invigorating change of scenery. You also feel pumped by your efforts.  If you row across a lake, you can see the start and finish — which adds to your sense of achievement.  Yes, jumping into an activity can be intimidating. Expect that it will feel weird at first, but like getting into a pool, it’s usually just the initial shock.  At the very least, you’ll have a decent answer to “What did you do this weekend?” (There are only so many times you can say, “I binge-watched ‘Scandal.’”).  A life lived on the couch isn’t really lived.

This is your body on adventure
When you do something exciting, your brain triggers your nervous system to pump out the hormone norepinephrine.  This accelerates your respiratory and heart rates and releases glucose, making more energy available.  In case you need it for, you know, cliff diving.  The feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine is released, too.  It works on the brain’s reward circuit, providing the sensation of novelty.  Do something physically demanding and your body will also churn out anandamide, known to inhibit fear.  Here come the endorphins. These chemicals help alleviate the pain of rigorous physical adventure — and give you that natural high.

Here are some ideas to start an adventure of your own:

Mini Thrill #1: Try a new lunch place. Bai sach chrouk, anyone?
Mini Thrill #2: Go on the roller coaster with your family instead of being the bag holder.
Mini Thrill #3: Google something you’ve long been curious about — besides what your ex is up to.
Mini Thrill #4: Make a new workout playlist, already!
Mini Thrill #5: Institute Fancy Wineglass Fridays. They’ll break eventually; might as well put ‘em to good use.
Mini Thrill #6: Dare to try a new gym class, like Piloxing (a Pilates, boxing and dance combo).
Mini Thrill #7: Find a new fantasy getaway with Mosey, an app full of hidden-gem trips.
Mini Thrill #8: Write a haiku (first line five syllables, then seven, then five). Three lines later, you’re a poet.
Mini Thrill #9: Would it kill you to wear prints?

Jun 23 / Lea Madjoff

Recommended exercises to target lower abs

army crawl

Army Crawl

Get down into a plank position, squeezing your butt, with a glider (paper plates or  towels work well too) under each foot, on the edge of your mat. Using your forearms, crawl forward about five steps, until your gliders hit the end of the mat, and then crawl back. Make sure to hold the plank position and keep legs straight and hips stable. Do this 3-5 times, counting forward and back as one full rep.

Find more exercises at


Jun 18 / Lea Madjoff

Immunization Guides

Immunization Guides
Smart Tools from TopHealth & PersonalBest
Regardless of your age, gender, ethnicity or country of birth, immunizations are essential for protecting you, your family, friends and community against serious, life-threatening infections.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

You never outgrow your need for protection against infectious diseases, such as the flu. Not sure if your vaccinations are current? Review the schedules below, provided by the CDC.* Your health care provider can also help you determine which vaccinations you need.

*These schedules are automatically updated by the CDC.

Recommended Vaccinations for Adults
Recommended Vaccinations for Adults with Medical and Other Indications (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, etc.)
Recommended Vaccinations for Age 18 and Younger
Catch-up Schedule for Age 18 and Younger

Jun 11 / Lea Madjoff

Special Events at the WSU Farmers Market

Special Events at the WSU Farmers MarketWSU Farmers Market Wednesdays June-October

Market runs 11 am to 4 pm, Wednesday, June – October, in front of Prentis Hall, across from DPL

Wellness Warriors that attend any of the Special Events at the WSU Farmers Market can earn points towards their Wellness Bucks!

See flyer for the Special Events

Please note that you will not be required to sign in at any of the Special events at the WSU Farmers Market. You will have an opportunity to document your attendance on your Wellness Buck Tally Sheet through your Wellness Warriors Organization on blackboard. Please email for any questions.

Oct 23 / Dollar Sophia

Referral Program: Earn $50!

Good afternoon Wellness Warriors,

2014 Enrollment appointments are FILLING FAST on Pipeline’s Training, Seminars and Workshops. Please log in now to make your appointment, as they fill up fast! Please note: the 2014 HRA is not available. We are working to open this as soon as possible.We’re excited to announce that you’ll earn $75 for enrolling in the 2014 program!

 NEW UPDATE: Refer co-workers/friends and get up to $50 + 2013 Tee Shirt!

Refer 1 friend: $10

Refer another friend: Additional $20

Refer third friend: Additional $20 + Tee Shirt

That means if you refer three new employees to join the 2014 program, we’ll give you $50 plus a tee shirt! Send us an email letting us know who you referred and we’ll put cash in your paycheck! Click here for more details…

2014 Enrollment Dates and Locations
(All Locations 8 a.m.- Noon)

October 29 – Student Center Hilberry A
October 31- Margherio Family Conference Center (School of Medicine)
November 1- Undergraduate Library Community Room
November 5- Margherio Family Conference Center (School of Medicine)
November 7- Student Center Building Hilberry A/B
November 8- Faculty/Administration Building Room 1339
November 12- Undergraduate Library Community Room
November 14- Scott Hall Room 2238 (School of Medicine)
November 15- Academic/Administration Building Room 3700
November 19- Academic/Administration Building Room 3700
November 21- Faculty/Administration Building Room 2339
November 22- Academic/Administration Building Room 3700

For more information:

Question? Contact a Wellness Champion!

Wellness Warriors
5700 Cass Ave, Ste 3638 A/AB

Oct 11 / Dollar Sophia

WOW! Great opportunities…

We’re partnering with some great groups on campus: here we’ll list two upcoming events we’d like to highlight

1) First we’re partnering with WSU PD for: Domestic Violence Awareness Event

October 21, Noon-1pm in Student Center Ballroom (2nd Floor)

This program is designed to educate and bring awareness to domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It is important that everyone on campus be informed on this topic. We will define these acts and inform participants about the law as it relates to them. Some of the key factors we will discuss are risk awareness, risk prevention, risk reduction, risk avoidance and the cycle of violence. We will provide resources and discuss participants questions.

2) Our second highlight is our newfound partnership with the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences: First Annual Community Apple Days

October 30, 12-5pm at EACPHS (259 Mack Ave.)

We’re excited to announce our support for the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences first annual Community Apple Days: A Health, Wellness, and Career Fair! The Wellness Warriors Program invites all benefits-eligible WSU employees to this event on October 30 at Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Science, 259 Mack Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201 from 12-5p!

Please RSVP at this link: RSVP for Community Apple Days

And lastly…we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our upcoming 30 day challenge!

NutriSum will be a 30 day individual challenge running 11/1 thru 11/30. Participants will track exercise, eating breakfast, vegetable intake, water, etc online. Points will be earned along the way! Prizes and recognition given to top point getters! Challenge yourself for 30 days and implement new healthy habits!

Registration on Pipeline’s Training, Seminars and Workshops ENDS October 28 at 5PM!

Visit for more information. We will be in touch with all registrants after registration closes on October 28! Open to the first 300 registrants!

–To your health,


Sep 25 / Dollar Sophia

Greatest Loser FALL Session!

New to Wellness Warriors? New to Greatest Loser? Greatest Loser is a 6-week exercise program intended to help you get back into exercising and shed a few pounds. Please know that results will vary, but the most successful participants are those who attend all sessions!

Some Quick Highlights:

  • 3 workouts a week with a personal trainer at the Mort Harris Recreation and Fitness Center for 6 weeks!
  • You’ll be on a team with other like-minded Wellness Warriors,
  • You can choose the morning, noon or night team, but you cannot switch teams once the program starts,
  • Although weight loss is our goal, attending the team workouts and keeping track of your exercise earns points,
  • The top three point-getters win a personal training session and the winning team wins an additional team workout!

The average personal training session costs somewhere between $20-$60 (we’re just estimating), so 18 sessions would cost around $360-$1,080…We’re offering you 18 free workouts…FREE!

Greatest Loser Logo

Registration ENDS October 4! Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

The Greatest Loser Program has been a platform for many weight loss success stories. It’s simple: you join one of three teams (7:00a, noon or 5:30p) and attend team workouts at Mort Harris RFC every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 6 weeks. This program is just the starting point for your exercise and weight loss journey…

To Join:

Questions? Email us at